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Hi all. New to the forum, but I'm hoping some of you seasoned marathon runners can offer me some much needed advice.
I am signed up to run Edinburgh Marathon on the 27th of May. Training was going well up until about 5-6 weeks ago. I had run lots of halfs (in training), several 15s, one 20 (which hurt) and then, when going for a 22 (which I accept was too early...my inexperience showing), suffered a calf/achilles strain at 17 miles. That was 5 weeks ago and since then I have gone through several relapses, all because I've been too hasty in trying to get back out. I haven't been able to run at all other than one 3 miler before it went again.
What I want to know is what I should be aiming for in terms of time on the day. My taregt was sub 4 hours and I did my one 20 mile training run in 2:47. I hope to be back running again in 10 days. In the 5 weeks since it happened, I have cycled a huge amount, putting in fast 8 milers to and from work most week days, adding on an additional 10 miles a couple of times a week at full tilt (heart rate sky high for a lot of it...far more out of breath than my training runs), and then cycling long on weekends with 2-3 hour sessions, including hill work and a hell of a lot of sweat.
I feel fit, but I know I'm not using (all) the right muscle groups. I have got myself so worked up about the whole thing, which is why I keep trying to go back out too soon. I've finally accepted that time to heal is the only solution and to do the best with what I can do (BIKE LIKE HELL).
So, given all that (somewhat rambling) info, what do you reckon? Should I set out at the 8:30 per mile I need to get a comfortable 4 hour marathon, or just lower my sights and wait for the next one? I know those unknown 6.2 miles are going to be hideous!